BARchetypes: That guy who remembers me


I’m bad with names.  I’m also bad with faces.  And places.

Chances are, if I haven’t seen you in the last 15 minutes, I’m not going to remember you.  5 if I’ve been drinking.

This puts me at a considerable disadvantage when I’m in a bar, because there’s always bound to be That Guy, Who Remembers Me.  I tend to think it’s because I have a distinctive face (read: weird looking), but honestly, it’s probably just my shitty memory.

Still, these guys catch me off guard every time.  They remember my name, they remember a joke me and my friends were telling the last time we were in, or they remember that I used to live in some other place that they used to live in.  And I’m nodding and smiling and pretending to remember when I saw them last.

Now, to be fair to myself (why not?), these guys do tend to be loners who attach themselves to groups (they’re like a subset of the Talkative Loner), so my attention isn’t usually on them.  Doesn’t make me feel like any less of a shitty person when they’re gleefully recounting some conversation we had 3 weeks ago and I’m looking at a stranger.

You know what, though?  I like this guy.  I like that he exists.  I’m not saying I’m always happy to see him (sometimes it’s just not the right day for an awkward greeting), but I like that in a bar is where absolute strangers will become acquaintances purely on the frequency of their visits, and acquaintances become friends because of an overheard quote from a movie or stand-up comedian.

This is the special environment of the bar, the unique melting pot where all the Barchetypes come together:  The unrepentant drunks and the recovering alcoholics, the 20-something amateurs and the 50-something professionals, the loud and the quiet, the  happy and the depressed.

If you want to truly experience a bar, don’t go at midnight or closing time, show up at 4 in the afternoon on a Thursday.  You’ll probably make a friend.

“But despite anything I might have said before, the bar is a beautiful place.” ~ Ryan Adams


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